Wi-Fi hotspots simply too expensive

It's a funny read that this Wi-Fi hotspots simply too expensive in El Reg:

Wi-Fi hotspots will only meet the needs of small customer groups and for the majority of hotspots there will be little or no return of investment. So says the Scientific Institute for Communication Services or WIK, Germany's leading research and advisory institute for communication services.

[...]

The institute believes that hotel chains and cafés will eventually offer hotspot services for free or at very low prices, while most start-up enterprises will abandon the market because of problems with billing, roaming, security and high transaction costs. WIK also believes there will be little or no competition from UMTS. UMTS provides ubiquity and mobility, which Wi-Fi hotspots cannot offer.

That's a usual thing in top management -- and something the IT consultancies profit a lot from -- you need to pay a few suits big bucks to regurgitate you clues that the little guys have been telling you for free and for quite some time. That's business life, and I have to admit that I had to resort to that kind of tactic to push some bitter pills down a few reluctant throats.

2 Comments

Hmmm. Interesting. But WiFi has a major potential of disruption in the telecom world in front of UMTS is the problem of roaming is offered a fairly simple solution. Why ? Because VoIP is already here and because it is much easier to deploy WiFi networks than UMTS's.
So a new entrant could - as usual - enter the low-end market segment with a first basic VoIP-WiFi mobile phone solution; you can call, be called, but you can't move while you do that. Capturing that low-end segment with a cheap solution is probably fairly easy. Telcos won't be able to compete. Then attacking the higher market segments will be feasible when the technology matures a bit and offers real mobility.

Agreed. Actually the article misses all the work currently in progress to remove the inability of Wi-Fi networks to provide roaming, so their conclusion about UMTS will soon be void, unfortunately for telcos.

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